August 3, 2015

California Labor Commission Finds Uber Driver is an Employee

The California Labor Commission recently ruled that an Uber driver in San Francisco was the company’s employee, and not an independent contractor, as the company had maintained.  According to an article on, the commission awarded the driver roughly $4,000 in unpaid expenses, but the decision could have a far greater impact because Uber’s business model fundamentally depends on the assumption that its drivers are independent contractors. 

Unlike employees, independent contractors must pay their own business expenses (like gas, insurance, and car maintenance for Uber drivers).  In addition, companies don’t have to provide independent contractors with certain protections (like workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits) that employers must otherwise provide for their employees